Making a Case for the formation of Regional Councils within Sixth Schedule Areas

in Atul Sarma, Ashok Pankaj and Antora Borah (eds.). Social Sector Development in North-East India. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2020. pp. 361-380.

This chapter discusses the provisions in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian constitution for the formation of autonomous regions and regional councils in districts with multiple scheduled tribes, and stresses on the formation of such regional councils for smaller ethnic groups within the district or territorial area. In the formation of district councils and regional councils in the erstwhile hill areas of Assam, minority groups within the scheduled districts were neglected, thereby largely obfuscating the presence of multiple groups within the district and their governance. In recent decades such groups are engaged in militant activities and have destabilized the whole governance mechanisms in such areas. The paper argues that the formation of regional councils for such ethnic minorities within the district or territorial area is ‘a conflict management device’ and a path towards peace and development in the Northeastern region.

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